Once again Home Affairs have made a rather drastic and speedy change to the rules for holiday visa extensions.
A Tourist/holiday visa is valid up to 90 days, though should you feel that you just can’t get enough of our beautiful country, you are able to apply for an extension of a further 90 days.
The change that has occurred, and is leaving some tourists in very awkward situations, is the withdrawal of Directive 43. This directive was introduced as a stop gap arrangement to help those with pending extensions to leave and re-enter South Africa whilst the extension was being processed.
This withdrawal in simple terms means that if you currently have an extension application lodged at Home Affairs you cannot leave South Africa. Once your extension is granted you are able to leave.
Currently there is still quite a lot of confusion in seeing how the new rules will unfold. In the meantime please take note of the following:
- If you overstay in South Africa by just one day or more you will be declared an “undesirable person”. The consequent restriction being that you will not be able to enter South Africa again for minimum of 2 years and anything up to 10 years.
- Visa extension applications must be submitted at least 30 days prior to the expiry of your current visa.
- A quick trip into Namibia or similar (border hopping) will be looked at more critically than before.
It is very important that when you enter South Africa, for business or holiday, that you are on the correct visa/permit.
As this change has happened so fast, should you require any further information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will gladly assist you.